ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Non-farm Diversification, Inequality and Mobility in Palanpur

Data from seven decades of survey in Palanpur provide insights into the changing nature of the village economy. Starting as a predominantly agrarian economy, Palanpur has seen non-farm employment emerge as a major driver of growth and distribution of income in the village economy, but accompanied by increasing inequality. There is evidence of greater mobility among the disadvantaged in Palanpur alongside falling inter-generational mobility. Preliminary analysis suggests that the nature of non-farm activities has become increasingly casual and informal, thereby more accessible to households at the bottom of the distribution, but still significantly influenced by access to networks and family ties, particularly for the more remunerative and stable non-farm jobs.

This paper is based on a programme of work in Palanpur, a village based in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh. There are now seven surveys of the village, one for every decade since independence. This paper draws upon several working papers and publications which have come out of the study in recent years and we are very grateful to Nicholas Stern, Jean Drèze, Ruth Kattumuri and Dipa Sinha for guidance, advice, and support. We are also grateful to all the researchers in Delhi and London for their contribution to various aspects of analysis of the data. The work is supported by a grant from the Department for International Development, UK to whom we are very grateful.

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